Mega Millions jackpot now above $1 billion

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 10:01:19-05

(LEX 18) — Tuesday night's Mega Millions jackpot drawing is now above $1 billion.

"I just like it when it gets up there," said James Boyd, who bought a ticket Friday.

It's been "up there" quite a bit in recent years. Seven of the ten biggest jackpots in Mega Millions history have been won in the past five years.

The massive jackpots can be traced back to 2017 when Mega Millions announced changes in its matrix to "accommodate public demand for more frequent large jackpots" according to their website.

The matrix changes included things like going from increasing tickets to $2 from $1 and increasing the starting jackpot from $15 million to $40 million.

The larger jackpots are enticing to people like James Boyd who was feeling lucky for the Mega Millions draw after cashing in another lottery ticket last week.

"I do have a history of winning," Boyd laughed. "They're going to be on Facebook asking me the numbers to play tonight."

LEX 18 spoke to others who weren't as entranced by the massive jackpot, opting for cheaper tickets on other games.

"[It's] not worth the $2 ticket for you?" LEX 18's Kristen Edwards asked one lotto player who bought a cheaper ticket on a different game. "No, no," Miriam Adams said. "Because I'm not a real believer. I'm somewhat of a believer. And I guess my husband is going to see this who says gambling is for someone who doesn't understand statistics."

Whether you believe or not, the drawing is coming up.

The lucky winner will have to pay taxes: 24% for federal taxes and 4.5% for the state.